Monday, January 26, 2009

Bisy Backson

Zoe sharing a moment from her busy day to let me kiss her.
I am so lucky to know this rabbit.

Last week was one of those weeks. You know the kind. Too busy. Between work and home tasks and meetings and other responsibilities, it seemed like everyday was a checklist of tasks to accomplish. I hate when that happens.

I was telling Miss Zoe about it yesterday when she gave me "the look." I'm sure you know the look I mean. Perhaps you've seen it yourself from your own rabbit or dog or cat. Even birds and guinea pigs can probably give that look. Here's what it looked like yesterday:

Miss Zoe feeling self righteous while perched on a little flower.
"Mmm Hmm," she said moving her neck.
"Don't you go telling me about Busy.

It can actually look a lot of different ways, but "the look" always means the same thing. Do you ever get this look from someone who loves you? The look means, "It's your own fault, silly."

Whenever I feel this way, I'm always reminded me of the book, The Tao of Pooh, which is a book I read for the first time back in college and have read many times since. In it, there's a chapter about Rabbit called "Bisy Backson."

[An aside: In case you're A.A. Milne challenged, the Pooh characters, like me, are notoriously bad spellers, so that means the words "Busy. Back soon," which are supposed to give an account of Rabbit's Whereabouts and Whatabouts turn into "Bisy Backson" when they are written and fixed to the door for the other animals to read. Hence the name of the chapter.]

Being a Rabbit, and a rather nervous Rabbit at that, Rabbit is always Doing Something. Rabbit is a busybody. He always feels busy and thinks that this Busyness is part of what makes him Important.

I guess this is what I was feeling last week. After a weekend on retreat with nothing but a woodpecker and a couple of deer in sight, after a weekend of just me and my fountain pen and my sketchbook, after a weekend of no noise or sounds of any kind except the swishing wind and creak of swaying trees, I got caught up upon my return to Life in Busyness and how Important Things can feel.

But, Miss Zoe reminded me: No matter how much hay she needs to munch in a day, no matter how many times she has to stare down a cat or chase a cat from her room, no matter how many times she is required to ask for a banana chip or run up and down the hallway in a day or an hour, there is always time for lounging in the willow chalet and rolling around on the floor with joy. There is always time to snuggle and to leisurely groom one's fur.

What's her secret, you ask?

Doing everything Mindfully.

She knows that everything she does is and can be a joy. She knows that even the most mundane and seemingly pointless tasks serve a function to you if done in the Right Way.

When Zoe eats hay, she is just Eating Her Hay. She's not thinking about next week, or earlier today, or how Scottie the Cat made her mad by meowing at her. She's concentrating on the flavor of the hay and the fact that this particular brand of hay has chamomile and rose hips in it. She's enjoying one thing at a time.

That's the secret. Even a checklist of tasks can be done in a mindful way. And that's what makes it fun instead of stressful.

Thanks for the reminder, Zoe.

Now, hand over some of those chamomile flowers.


Anonymous said...

*munch, munch, munch*

One small thing I have started recently is making sure to sniff everything I am eating or drinking. Not because I am afraid it's poisoned. ;) But because it brings me more into a better awareness of what I am (or could be) enjoying.

Good post! :)

Marcy said...

a great suggestion! :) i always sniff my espresso, but i'll have to try sniffing other things. what a great idea!

p.s. i am glad no one is poisoning you.

Jennifer Hugon said...

Ahhh what we can learn from our animal companions. I often marvel at my meezers' ability to just BE. (Well, one of them anyway, the other is a tad too human-like for his own good).


Jessica Dawn said...

I was reading a book called The Mindful Way Out of Depression. One of the exercises was to take a raisin and really look at it, then smell it, then eat it...not just eat it but feel the texture in your mouth and the taste on your tongue. I look at my cat many days and I am jealous because she doesn't worry about going to work, paying the bills. She just sits and sits and sits. What a life. Lucky bunny to have extra flavor in her hay.